There really is more than one way to catch a fish!
by, June 6th, 2013 at 02:53 PM (530 Views)
The beach was glorious this morning. I got to go out to Brighton for a mid-week swim—always a treat, and especially so today, because I got to meet several of the marathon swimmers in town for this Saturday’s swim around Manhattan (MIMS). In addition to three other CIBBOWS swimmers, we had 3 swimmers from Perth, one from Ottawa, and one from Brazil out enjoying the crisp waters off of Brighton.
The morning was cool, around 60 and a bit cloudy, with water temps were about the same. The Aussies were just getting in as I arrived, and I got in for about 20 minutes with them. I swam a little bit to the east before reversing course and heading for the big jetty to the west. As I neared it, I noticed a parks department ATV vehicle at the surf line, stopped and seemingly talking to one of the fishermen on shore near the jetty. I guessed he was telling him he couldn’t go out on the rocks, and I thought about how lucky we were that, although official policy forbids swimming before that lifeguards come on duty at 10, we’ve never been hassled about getting in early. At the big jetty I turned around and headed back. I wanted to swim more, but thought it would be a good idea to check and see if anyone else had arrived at the meeting spot before I headed out further.
As I got close to the starting point, I noticed the same ATV crawling slowly along shore, directly inland from me. Hmmm—maybe I wasn’t so lucky today. I was nearly back at my starting point, so I stopped and looked towards shore to see what was going on. One of the Perth swimmers was by the ATV and signaling me to come in, so I did. Once I got ashore, the parks department employee on the ATV told me there was no swimming, and that I needed to stay out of the water for 15 minutes until the life guards arrived. Ok then.
I made my way up to the blanket, and found that everyone else had been pulled 10 minutes or so before me. I felt bad for our visitors who had come on the rare day that swimming rules were being enforced. At least there were cookies to enjoy during the interlude!
During my time onshore I noticed a little bulge in my suit at my right ribcage. I had felt something hit the neckline of my suit while swimming, but I didn’t pay much attention---there always seem to be pieces of seaweed or little twigs that bounce off of you out at Brighton, and I’ve learned to just ignore them. But now it seemed like something had, improbably, gotten into my suit. I reached in to fish it out, and pulled out something that was silvery and a little gunky. My first thought was that it was some crumpled up duct tape that had been in the water too long and gotten mushy. But when I looked closer, I noticed a small dot at one end. Oh dear, surely that wasn’t an eye? And that looked like a tail on the other end. I didn’t want to believe it was a fish, but it was, a little silvery fish squashed dead between rib and lycra. When I first started open-water swimming this find probably would have produced hysterics, but today it was mostly funny, and just a little gross, that I had spent the last 10 minutes with a dead fish inside my suit.
We exchanged wildlife stories and snacked (not on sushi) until the guards arrived. When I got back in, a little chilled from my time out of the water, I was joined by MIMS swimmer Giuliana and CIBBOWS pals Robert and Patti. We all swam out to the white building, where we enjoyed a meet / chat / synchro session, then swam back to the chair. I went a little past the starting point, then swam back. The water was wonderfully clear and green, and I enjoyed swimming beside Giuliana--we seemed to match our strokes effortlessly.
When I got out I was just a little chilled—not enough to shiver, just enough to enjoy bundling up a bit. It was my favorite kind of beach weather, cool and cloudy enough to enjoy wearing clothes and picnicking after a swim while delighting in being out on the sand, all without worrying too much about sunburn. It was definitely worth taking a morning off to enjoy this!